Bad social media gives you an audience: stuff like reach, personality/celebrity, spectacle, anxiety, alienation, competition.
Good social media gives you community: it’s more like voice, agency, discussion, comradery.
I want a community, not an audience.
@neil oh, this is good!
I *crave* the likes/upvotes/fake Internet points. But really, what I *need* is the actual conversation and friendship.
@neil this is a great way to explain it. I've been talking to my partner about mastodon and why it's so much of a better thing for me than other options (yes, I know there are issues still, no, I'm not ignoring them). thanks!
i remember years ago thinking that i wanted to write for an audience, because i want to make things _for_ people who will respond, but that notion is in such fundamental tension with all the pathology of the internet that i no longer feel comfortable exposing things to that i've basically stopped writing anything in full public view and just hang out in backchannels and low-traffic places like this...
@brennen @Greg @neil me too. It also makes me realize why I still like the birdsite: I mostly use it to shitpost/nerdpost with a relatively small set of people and only occasionally tune in to more broadcasty voices. But trying to do that alongside people using it for broadcast is hard & weird; I miss spaces where audience-seeking is discouraged rather than rewarded.
I also like the potential to have a broad reach! But I still want it to be a conversation-starter, not a performance.
@neil I like your use of “bad social media” as a term to summarize the lot of them. I use this, too.
@neil If you look at the work of anthropologists, you will see that we really need both. We need a community and the feeling of belonging, but we also need audience and the feeling of competence. So in the end, it's all about a good balance, as usual.
Hi Neil, well said. That's exactly my motivation for mastodon.
I even noticed that controversies here don't get out of hand most of the time. Compare that to the situation on that birdsite.
I actually think conflicts escalate there more easily, because people feel they're watched by their audience and feel pressured to perform.
Just my 2ct.
@neil Absolutely! Additionally, the same social media platforms can be good or bad depending on how you use them. Facebook/Twittter/etc. bias you toward "bad social media" while Mastodon is (in my opinion), more of a neutral platform which can be used for either.
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